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Watch and Burn: The Best Workout DVDs and Games of 2014

  • Avery Powell

    Ring Leader

    Strap on the weighted gloves that come with the five-disc Piloxing System, then uppercut, plié, and jab your way along to one of three 50-minute cardio rounds—a "great mix" of boxing, dancing, and Pilates that will have you "sweating up a storm within the first 10 minutes," a tester said. Save the "challenging" mat sessions for a dose of next-day toning.

    Calories burned: 128 (Pilates) to 438 (per round)
    Equipment needed: weighted gloves (included)

    Bonus: Want to watch a sneak peek of each of our winners? Download the digital edition on your iPad for a free preview!

  • Avery Powell

    Short and Sweaty

    Time crunched? Pick one of five high-intensity circuits in The Biggest Loser: 8-Minute Body Blasters to do alongside your fave contestants, or "glue two together to definitely get your sweat on," one tester suggested. You'll power through 30-second calorie sizzlers like jumping lunges and dive bombers, followed by 10 seconds of recovery. "Solid moves" and the motivating TBL trainers Bob Harper and Dolvett Quince "make this a winner."

    Calories burned: 21 (cool-down) to 68 (per circuit)
    Equipment needed: 3- to 8-pound dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Dance Champion

    You can perfect your mambo and cha-cha with Denise Austin: Burn Fat Fast Latin Dance, even if you're "someone who's pretty rhythmically challenged," a tester promised. "Some of the moves seemed like ones I might even try on the dance floor," another said. Count the 30-minute routine as moderate cardio; for a little toning, pull out your dumbbells and add the 10-minute bonus session, which combines classic Latin moves with biceps curls and overhead presses.

    Calories burned: 37 (toning) to 171 (dance)
    Equipment needed: 3- to 5-pound dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Hot Twists

    Don't expect slo-mo poses in the two half-hour practices from Jillian Michaels Yoga Inferno. Michaels creates variations on the classics that "you would never see in your average yoga class," a tester noted. One workout mixes in 30-second cardio intervals like plank jacks, and the other incorporates creative strength moves like chair poses with shoulder presses.

    Calories burned: 160 to 166 (per workout)
    Equipment needed: yoga mat, 3- to 5-pound dumbbells (optional)

  • Avery Powell

    Power Pack

    Testers "worked up a crazy good sweat" during each 25-minute session in Insanity trainer Shaun T's latest 10-week program, Focus T25. The 11 no-rest workouts "feel really fresh" and are divvied up into two five-week phases: Alpha, to build a strong foundation, and Beta, to increase intensity and strengthen your core. (For an additional $60, you can take on the four workouts in the optional Gamma phase which emphasizes building muscle.)

    Calories burned: 267 (per workout)
    Equipment needed: resistance band (included) or dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Abs-solute Rule

    Our fave X Factor judge shows the work it takes to rock those crop tops in Sexy Abs Cardio Sculpt with Kelly Rowland and Hollywood Trainer Jeanette Jenkins. The hour-long total-body routine is built on five-minute segments to keep muscles guessing. Thanks to the countdown timer, "I worked even harder because there was only 'one more minute' until the next section," a tester said.

    Calories burned: 446 (65-minute workout)
    Equipment needed: 3- to 5-pound dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Carving Tool

    Testers agreed they could repeat Bob Harper The Skinny Rules #3: Strength over and over, thanks to its snappy CrossFit-inspired WOD (workout of the day) style. All four 15-minute circuits challenge with "just a little bit harder than usual" total-body moves.

    Calories burned: 525 (68-minute workout)
    Equipment needed: 5- to 8-pound dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Om Magic

    Zen out or tone up with this vinyasa flow in Elements of Yoga: Air & Water with Tara Lee. "Create your own perfectly timed workout" by shuffling the three 20- to 25-minute segments; the first is stretchy, the second is more intense toning, and the third is meant for chillaxing.

    Calories burned: 59 to 90 (per sequence)
    Equipment needed: yoga mat

  • Avery Powell

    Booty Booster

    Sculpt a sexy backside with the BeFit: 30-Day Butt Lift. Set aside 10 minutes each day for one of six rotating routines that range from targeted toning moves — think ballet-inspired squats — to high-intensity cardio. "They may be short, but they are not easy," a tester said approvingly.

    Calories burned: 32 to 85 (per workout)
    Equipment needed: yoga mat, chair, 3- to 5-pound dumbbells

  • Avery Powell

    Yeah, Baby!

    Active moms-to-be will appreciate Kristin McGee's Prenatal Yoga & Pilates. It's "real yoga," unlike the "glorified stretching sessions" one tester had attended. Exercises such as side planks and eagle pose make up the 9- to 27-minute segments, and McGee "offers good advice" for modifications.

    Calories burned: 33 to 123 (per segment)
    Equipment needed: resistance band (included), yoga mat

  • Avery Powell

    Bust a Move

    Groove along with stars like Robin Thicke, Nicki Minaj, and Daft Punk in Just Dance 2014. "You're having so much fun that it doesn't seem like exercise," one tester said about the 40-minute sessions. You can also opt to see your calorie burn, sing karaoke, and connect with others on a World Dance Floor. Bonus: New downloadable song-and-dance routines are added each month.

    Calories burned: up to 448 per hour
    Available for: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One, PlayStation 3, PlayStation 4

  • Avery Powell

    Firm Every Inch

    Pop in Nike+ Kinect Training and pick a goal — get lean, get strong, get toned — to have the game serve you up routines built from more than 100 athletic drills that "effectively target multiple muscle groups." You can do a 30- to 40-minute workout or choose a 5- to 15-minute quickie in the "fancy gym" setting. Post-workout, see calories burned and track your progress on the Nike+ Kinect Training mobile app.

    Calories burned: up to 512 per hour
    Available for: Xbox 360

  • Avery Powell

    Shake It

    The "beginner-friendly" Zumba Fitness World Party is a "fun way to spice up your workout routine." It packs in 45 "fast-paced" fitness classes, highlighting more than 30 different dance styles, including Bollywood, salsa, and hip-hop. Each session takes place in a unique setting to the musical backdrop of Lady Gaga, Pitbull, Daddy Yankee, and more. With so much variety, "I don't foresee this game ever getting boring," one tester said.

    Calories burned: up to 448 per hour
    Available for: Nintendo Wii, Nintendo Wii U, Xbox 360, Xbox One

  • Avery Powell

    Classes Unlimited

    Choose from more than 70 strength-training, cardio, balance, dance, and yoga workouts with Wii Fit U ($50, for info). Effective, "easy-to-follow" sessions make "a good supplement to my normal routine," one tester said. The game also comes with a clip-on Fit Meter activity tracker. Your "core is the most sore" the next day with abs moves like planks and V-sits performed on the Wii Fit U Balance Board (sold separately).

    Calories burned: up to 512 per hour
    Available for: Wii U

  • Avery Powell

    Game On

    With the Kinect Sports: Ultimate Collection, you'll score two "so fun!" family-friendly games. In Kinect Sports and Kinect Sports: Season Two, follow avatars through 13 sports, including skiing, golf, and soccer, after receiving "clear instructions about what you need to do" for each. The music "is great," the visuals "add depth," and the photos of you that are captured as you play "are hilarious."

    Calories burned: up to 448 per hour
    Available for: Xbox 360

    Originally published in FITNESS magazine, February 2014.


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